Jasser founded AIFD in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in order to provide a Muslim American voice
that would genuinely advocate and defend the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution. He has taken the fight against radical Islam to heart and sees it as a responsibility of all “true” Muslims. Where many U.S.-based Islamic organizations, such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America, claim to support the U.S. Constitution but provide dodgy answers and shoddy excuses for terrorism when the rubber meets the road, Dr. Jasser’s AIFD is based on the founding principles of the United States. Where CAIR’s rhetoric tends to create a tension between Americans and its Muslim members, the rhetoric of Jasser and AIFD refers to Americans as an “us” and not a “them.”
“I have always looked upon myself, long before 9-11, as a Jeffersonian Muslim, if you will,” Dr. Jasser answers when asked about his identification as a Muslim. “Along with the ideas of liberty as embodied in the works of our founding fathers, naturally emanating from that is a deep antipathy for Islamism (political Islam), salafism, jihadism, governmental sharia, and the global collectivist movement of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Terms such as “moderate,” “secular,” and “radical” are innately controversial as any group is able to contort them to mean what they want. For example, Jasser posits, the term “moderate” has become synonymous with being non-violent or anti-terrorism. But this is an oversimplification that blinds Americans to the very political ideologies — which he identifies as “Islamism” — that are the cogs and gears of terrorism.
“I know everyone is looking for an easy label to know the ‘good Muslim’ from the ‘bad Muslim,’” Jasser continues, “but … I believe that the ‘anti-Islamist’ or at least ‘non-Islamist’ Muslims are on our side and the pro-Islamist Muslims, those who believe in the Islamic state and governmental sharia, are not on our side but on the side of political Islam.”
AIFD’s slogan is that its members are “Americans who happen to be Muslim, and not Muslims who demand to be American.” As a devout Muslim, Dr. Jasser has voiced strong opposition to the mosque now called “Park 51” that threatens to encroach on Ground Zero. When he first heard of the plans, he says, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Post detailing why he as a Muslim felt a mosque in such a location would only offer more misguidance for the U.S. Muslim community.
“The reality is that many of us have never said their rights should be infringed in any way but rather that we pray that a light will finally go on in their heads which tells them that ‘this ostentatious $100 million Islamic center should be built elsewhere and not in a place that casts a shadow upon the graves of thousands of Americans’ — still an open raw wound for most Americans,” Dr. Jasser explains....
“I cannot see genuine Muslim reform happening on the dime of foreign Islamist interests,” Jasser says. “Make no mistake, this Islamic center is not a spiritual statement but a global political one in the name of Islam
. … Every group I have been directly involved with in building mosques and Islamic projects in the U.S. have rejected foreign funds entirely because of the ideological hypocrisies and Islamism that comes with them.”...
Dr. Jasser has also taken serious issue with the background story that the mosque’s developers have chosen to promote... the possibility of the Ground Zero mosque coalescing from idea into structure presents not only the insult to the millions of Americans who experienced true horror on September 11, 2001, nor the threat of a new mammoth gateway for radical Islamic ideas to slip into the U.S., but the threat of sending a message of weakness to Islamists the world over.
“It will be used by Islamist leadership around the world to say, ‘despite the violence that al-Qaeda perpetrated on the American population, political Islam will always be victorious and from its ashes has risen the largest religious Muslim structure in the United States,’” Jasser warns. “As the administration continues to move backwards, [outlawing] the use of any specific religious Islamic terms like jihad, Islamsim, and salafism, the Islamists continue to make unopposed headway in the contest of ideas. We are losing the war of ideas.”..
“If the organizers [of the Ground Zero mosque] were truly moderate, they would not be building mammoth structures like this but rather investing in spreading the ideas of liberty into the Muslim community against the ideas of political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood. They would be teaching American Muslim youth to reach out by joining our military and homeland security efforts en masse rather than allowing Islamist organizations in D.C. like CAIR to brainwash young Muslims that our military and FBI are anti-Muslim and the U.S. is anti-Islam.”